Carsley brace holds Bluebirds

Lancaster and Barrow played out an entertaining 3-3 draw in their annual preseason friendly at the Giant Axe.

The Dollies started with just the 1 trialist, a left back and they looked well organised against a strong Barrow side who maintained possession well. A cagey first 30 minutes brought half chances for both sides, Barrow’s Morgan Penfold shooting wide after cutting in from the left and Matt Blinkhorn was close to latching onto a trialists cross. 

Following a water break after 25 minute in the stifling heat, the Bluebirds had the lead – a well worked corner routine resulting in a cross of the highest quality that was turned in by defender Sam Graham. And just minutes later the Dollies were further behind after being cut open for the first time by quick, incisive play, Oliver Greaves finished past Sam Ashton. 

But City rallied and we’re back in the game just before half time, Brad Carlsey latching onto a through ball and squaring for Charlie Bailey who applied the finish for his 3rd goal in preseason. 

Half time brought two City changes with Jason Walker and Niall Cowperthwaite replacing Simon Wills and Rob Wilson. It was the hosts who started on the front foot and were rewarded after just 4 minutes when Bailey returned the favour with a ball over the Barrow defence for Carsley who’s left footed volley left Jonny Saltmer in the Barrow goal with no chance. 

Just as it looked like City may grab the impetus they were pegged back by a moment of real quality, on 55 minutes Oliver Greaves stepped up to whip a free kick from 25 yards up and over the wall and into the net, unstoppable. Once again the Dollies had to come from behind but to their credit they pressed and probed once more looking to get back on level terms. 

And the hosts continued to knock on the door, on 73 minutes a wonderful cross from the left evaded everyone and just minutes later Walker brought an excellent save from Saltmer. But finally the Dollies got the equaliser, a cross from the right headed in by Man of the Match Carsley to share the spoils in an excellent game in front of 400 at the Giant Axe.